TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano and reliever Damaso Marte are scheduled to be examined by doctors Saturday and won’t immediately play after rejoining New York following the World Baseball Classic.

Cano has tightness in the back of his right shoulder. He has felt it all spring training but didn’t think it was serious.

“It’s not bad,” Cano said Friday. “I was playing with this. I’m not worried. I thought if I stretched it, it would be all right.”

Cano didn’t tell the Yankees about the tightness before leaving for the WBC, which he feels at times when extending his right arm on a throw. There is no discomfort when he hits.

He did have his ailing shoulder examined by the Dominican team doctor.

Marte has tightness in the left side of his chest, which he thinks stems from weightlifting. He hopes to only miss three or four days.

“It doesn’t bother me throwing,” Marte said.

The pair was with the Dominican Republic team at the WBC.

“Hopefully they both bounce back fairly quickly,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s not how you want them coming back. I don’t think it’s long term. I think they should be out just a couple days.

Closer Mariano Rivera, coming back from right shoulder surgery last October, will throw batting practice for the second time Saturday. If that goes well, he should make his first spring training appearance Tuesday.

“Obviously, the biggest thing for Mo is that he comes out healthy,” Girardi said.

Rivera expects to be ready for opening day.

Catcher Jorge Posada, who has been limited to designated hitter this spring after right shoulder surgery, is set to catch for the first time Sunday.

Notes: Girardi said if the regular season was underway, he would lean toward having DH Hideki Matsui bat fourth with 3B Alex Rodriguez (right hip surgery) out until sometime in May. … RHP Jason Johnson, coming back after treatment for a small cancerous tumor behind his right eye, will pitch for the first time Saturday. Johnson remains in the mix for the long relief role. “He’s had to battle through a few things this spring,” Girardi said.

AP-ES-03-13-09 1909EDT


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